Clinging To Hope

  1. Hey all...

    I'm having a very difficult time being positive lately. My decision to get my license back took a while, then the whole face the BON, get into IPN, complete the RN refresher course took forever. Still during that time I didn't seem to get discouraged. I saw it as a challenge, I met each obstacle with determination and relentlessness. And there were plenty of obstacles!

    The license that I currently hold says 'conditional/active.' The 'conditions' are the I take an RN refresher course ( check ) and complete IPN ( almost 3 years in to a 5 year contract ). I was in an IPN contract for addiction to opiates back in 2007, I was diagnosed with Cancer. I made a decision at that time to stop monitoring, I let my license go through 2 consecutive licensing periods without renewing ( which made it null/void ). Boy, do I regret it. THAT is where I screwed up. But, I wasn't thinking at my best. I was having chemo ports placed, going through CT Scans and I was just whipped as a human being.

    Fast forward to now, with so much of these obstacles behind me, I can't get a job. I've handled my fair share of rejections. To me, rejection means I was there, I put my best foot forward and "they" said NO. What I am experiencing now is not rejection, it's non-existence. I hear crickets chirping... No call, no email, no voice in HR saying 'thanks, but no thanks,' nothing. And I realize the world went through a great deal of change during my hibernation, dark night of the soul, whatever it was. Human contact is gone...

    The thing I dislike the most about this season of my life is the forgetting of how very much I have overcome. I forget that I've left behind addiction. I forget that I have won a battle against cancer. I forget that I took on the BON. I chased them all over my state to never miss a hearing where my fate was in question. I forget that I drove to a hospital 3 hours South of me for a month, to complete the clinical portion of the RN refresher course because no hospitals in my area wanted me. I forget....

    I forget in in favor of a profession that is unkind, uncaring, unforgiving to it's very own. My patients can be sick, I cannot.

    I am really down right now and could use some insight into actions that can refresh my memory about why I am so very fortunate. And some tactics for making myself more appealing to this brutal profession I guess I still have a fondness for. Otherwise, I'm just going to think I'm a stupid individual.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. Visit Persephone Paige profile page

    About Persephone Paige, RN

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 225; Likes: 651

    17 Comments

  3. by   Recovering_RN
    Unfortunately I've come to view the profession as cut throat and uncaring too, so I can't help you much there! Of course we all know there are plentry of nurses who are not that way, though...

    So when I was reading all you've been through, I started thinking about how you can take your experiences and make them a positive in an interview situation. Lots of us are currently in jobs that would not have been our first choice, we just took them because it's all we could get with our monitoring restrictions. When we're out, we will all have to take those jobs and make them sound much better than they really are! And you can do that too. You'll have to fit into the conversation that you have LIFE experience, how you've seen the other side of the patient/doctor,nurse relationship and now you can empathize in a way that most people cannot. Also, you've taken your refresher course, so even if it's not true you need to say how it's amazing that it just seems like yesterday when you were on the floor, all the stuff in that course was so familiar to you. (NOT like "it all came back to me" because that implies it was gone). Or, I don't know, maybe you shouldn't mention the refresher course at all? That highlights in their mind the fact that you needed it. If it comes up, talk about it like it was no big deal, a formality, not like you'd forgotten any of what they presented. Even say something like how all nurses would benefit from a refresher course because they remind you about the basics....or something. I'm not sure there but I feel like you either have to not mention it much or downplay it, so they aren't focusing on your 12 year absence.

    And finally, I would recommend you looking for a job in oncology. You obviously have some insights to offer that other nurses do not!! Not only the oncology floors, but what about the chemo infusion places? My ex husband went through chemo when we were married and the nurses there begged me to apply, they were so short staffed. The only controlled substance they give is the Ativan, I think, so maybe the other nurses could do that for you. Anything where you could bring your experience as a cancer patient into the mix would put you ahead of other candidates.

    Sorry I'm not much help in the soul searching department. I'm not super positive myself these days, I'm just counting down my days.
  4. by   Persephone Paige
    Thank You, RecoveringRN. I have been steering clear of Oncology because I imagined all the people in the hospital being in pain and narcotics out the waazoo. But, that would just be inpatient stuff. I received mine through my doctor's office and all I received were my ABVD infusions. So, that's a great point. I will look into that.

    The problem I am having is with the 'qualifying' questions asked with the initial submission of an online application. They now ask, up front if you have any restrictions that would prevent you from giving narcotics? Of course, I have to check "yes." Couple that with providing my license # and they know what's up. That is probably taking me out of the running immediately for 80% of the applications I submit. They just don't even bother responding. Gone are the day when you could get in front of someone and let them get a feel for you.

    You have great points and I'm going to come back and reread any responses I get, so I can say "YEAH!" Especially on really hard days, like today, when I just hate the world.
  5. by   Recovering_RN
    Yeah if the online application rules you out because of narcotic restrictions, not much you can do. I found that esp the smaller places had fewer questions on their online forms processes, the one I'm at now is a free standing ER and it's so small that their "application process" was for me to send an email and attach a resume! So they still are out there, just maybe avoid the larger hospitals. Try the urgent cares too. They do give narcotics, some of them anyway, but if there's a second nurse on shift then it shouldn't be a problem. I doubt the urgent cares would be giving out a lot of hydrocodone, but I'm not sure about that.
  6. by   rn1965
    Quote from Persephone Paige
    Hey all...

    I'm having a very difficult time being positive lately. My decision to get my license back took a while, then the whole face the BON, get into IPN, complete the RN refresher course took forever. Still during that time I didn't seem to get discouraged. I saw it as a challenge, I met each obstacle with determination and relentlessness. And there were plenty of obstacles!
    I feel your pain. I had my original license revoked, in 2003. In 2017, decided it was time to get it back. I have been waiting about nine months for the board to make a decision. Found out, they are barely looking into it (the investigation).

    I was originally licensed in AZ. That is where I sent my re-issue app to. However, I reside in TX and found out things may be easier here, so I am starting refresher courses soon.

    It is very frustrating, mostly because I am not a young lady anymore, and I wonder if I am making the right decision. Am I really up to 3 years of monitoring and a permanent mark on my license?? Well, my Daddy used to tell me, you won't know if you don't try.

    I worry about getting a job, also. Not just because of the monitoring, but add the double edge of my age, and it will be tough. I am telling myself to be willing to work in the places I never thought I would.

    When I became a nurse, my first floor was oncology. And I thought I would love it. Turns out it was not for me. I ended up in women's health, which I absolutely LOVED.

    I do not know where I will end up, but, I will keep pushing forward. You and all the other nurses in this forum have helped me to keep a positive attitude.

    You are fortunate! You are here to tell your story and encourage us when we are down. Hang in there and know we are behind you. We believe in you and we know you can do this!!!
  7. by   catsmeow1972
    I think many of us hear parts of ourselves in you. So you are not alone in how you feel. There have been days (and even though I am not working by choice) when I wonder why I don't just tell the whole field of nursing to just shove it. The giant hospital around me, the various departments have various scrub colors. The nurses all wear navy blue. So when I am out and about and I see someone in navy scrubs, I just get that angry/sad/why the **** do I care anymore feeling.
    I had that horrible job right at the beginning of monitoring that I took because it was all I could get. It was a truly scary place. After I mercifully got the heck out of there I moved home and worked at the giant hospital near me (with the navy scrubs). The machinations of IPN forced me into an area that I am not experienced or comfortable in. I tried and they tried with me. It just wasn't to be.
    So now I sit and wait for the end while my degree collects dust. I feel as though I've been punished for having a mental illness then punished once again by my own profession for trying to climb out of the ashes. I volley back and forth between not wanting to let "them" win by giving up, knowing that I worked too bloody hard to get where I'm at and wondering why I seem to enjoy flogging myself for a profession that clearly doesn't give 2 you-know-whats about me.
    I've only worked for hospitals but one thing that I have found that gets me through the "auto-gauntlet" of HR (I think with all these online apps, there is an algorithm that is used that determines whether your application even lands on the desk of a recruiter) is to follow up an application with a phone call directly to the nurse recruiter. Sometimes that can get them to pull your application and at least look at it and speak to you. The other option is job fairs. That can get you in front of a nurse manager, with your resume and a cover letter.
    As far as possibilities for position types. Pre-op? It's mostly paperwork, consents and starting IVs. Some places might give versed but usually anesthesia does that. If narcs are to be given (and that's rare) again either anesthesia does it (because they have to order it) or there's always more than one nurse around.
    I do know that for the rest of my career, nursing will be a paycheck. Never again will I plunge my heart and soul into it like I did before because when I fell, they were not there to catch me and in fact stepped on me, several times. (Hmmm, how's that for a visual) I will always care for my patients like I would want to be cared for but like you, it has been made crystal clear to me that I am not allowed to be sick.
    And last but least. You are NOT stupid. Absolutely ******* not!!! Don't make me bring the skillet of enlightenment to wherever you are in Florida to make that point . Regardless of what clueless HR people (who in smaller places are not even nurses) think, you are a strong person first, a nurse second (I think that's the mistake we all make) and that combo can be a life changer for someone. It may take a while, but it's out there. I know it is.....
    Last edit by catsmeow1972 on Apr 13
  8. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    Are you applying for non-hospital jobs as well? Dialysis, SNFs, psych facilities, the usual gamut of restriction friendly jobs? Where are the nurses in your IPN group getting jobs? Can one of them put in a good word?
  9. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    Are you applying for non-hospital jobs as well? Dialysis, SNFs, psych facilities, the usual gamut of restriction friendly jobs? Where are the nurses in your IPN group getting jobs? Can one of them put in a good word?
    It may not be just you, or your situation. It may be that your area is genuinely overcrowded (as it is here in the NTX). Any scuffs or dings on your resume or license and they won't hire you because they don't have to. I have no restriction on my license and I still feel like sometimes my info goes into a void.

    Hippie is right - word of mouth may get you in front of a hiring manager. If they don't consider Adderall a "narcotic," consider school nursing? I know it's too late for flu vaccine clinics but starting in September those roving clinics will take you as long as you're willing to give vaccine from a multi-dose vial. It's imperfect but it will be something. Hang in there.
  10. by   Persephone Paige
    Thanks all who took the time to reply. I live in a small town, so the smaller places I have had the potential to work for don't have the freedom to staff the extra RN that might pass my narcotics. They just aren't big enough to warrant the extra staff. So, I've taken my search outside my town to the places mentioned above. I did get a call today for an interview. It's with a health department about 20 mins South of me. I'm hopeful, but not very optimistic. State facilities have to interview everyone who applies. So if I lived in a card board box and had a skate board as transportation they would cheerfully invite me for an interview and just never hire me. I've interviewed for several of these positions and been very qualified. But, no luck. Anyway, I will try and be more positive and take your tips. Have a great weekend.
  11. by   Recovering_RN
    I recommended urgent care clinics, but only if there was a second nurse to administer narcotics for you. As you mentioned, the small places don't have that second nurse. I've never actually worked in an urgent care clinic though, and I just now recalled a conversation that came up during my nurse support group. I know a woman who does work in one of those places, she urged me to apply there as they were opening a new facility, and now that I think about it she told me they didn't give narcotics. It may be that the free standing ERs do but the Urgent Cares do not. Worth a try anyway. Those urgent cares are popping up all over!
  12. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Its hard not to get discouraged in these programs. Honestly sometimes its hard to see your way out of the despair and wreckage caused not only by our choices but the punitive nature of the programs. I wish I had some magic words for you but I honestly don't. All that I can really advise is to weather the storm and do your best finding a job and maintaining a life. Sometimes that feels impossible
  13. by   Recovering_RN
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    All that I can really advise is to weather the storm and do your best finding a job and maintaining a life. Sometimes that feels impossible
    This reminds me of a favorite quote:

    The devil whispered in my ear, "You are not strong enough to withstand the storm."
    Today I whispered in the devil's ear, "I am the storm."
  14. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yay Recovering Yay!!!

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